Please help us save sweet AZALEA


I follow quite a few pitbull and bully breed advocate pages on Instagram. They have always had a special place in my heart and I hate how they are misunderstood, discriminated, abused and neglected more than any other breed. They are the most deserving of underdogs. Anyone who has known the love of a pitbull knows why I feel this way. They are the most loving, affectionate, sweet and loyal pups. I’ve rescued a few over my life and when I saw a post with a plea for help for this sweet pup I couldn’t ignore it. She had been dumped at an industrial warehouse and she stayed there waiting. After about 4 or 5 days a women who worked there got her and took her to a shelter. Just the thought of her waiting for her family to come back for her, and her fear and confusion of being in the shelter is beyond heartbreaking.

We live in Salt Lake City Utah. My husband is a truck driver who was passing through Houston Texas to deliver a load and she was in Houston. We were not looking for another dog since we live in an apartment and have a 9 year old Belgian Malinois and a 7 month old pit puppy. I sent him the add and said “go get her!” and he went the next day to meet her. She instantly stole his heart. Her interaction with our Malinois went well and the shelter had her labeled as aggressive supposedly for growling. We knew she was scared and confused. Since she seemed to be ok around our Malinois and was so sweet to my husband we felt it might’ve been a harsh assessment. She is the sweetest and we knew an older pitbull labeled aggressive was surely being given a death sentence. He knew we had to save her. We didn’t have a long term plan, we just knew we couldn’t leave her in that shelter to die. We knew there is much less of an issue with shelter overpopulation and more of a demand for pits here in UT and that her chances would be greater at finding a perfect home. The shelter informed us of her being heartworm positive. I’ve adopted two heartworm positive dogs in the past and the shelter/rescues had covered the cost and it was only a couple injections, so I assumed it wasn’t too expensive. They mentioned nothing else wrong with her, however the volunteer staff my husband spoke with didn’t seem to know her at all. 

The shelter insisted on spaying her so my husband canceled is next load to stay and get her the next day after surgery. He stayed with her for a couple days in Houston in the truck caring for her post surgery then he started driving to finish his route and head home. We called the shelter when we noticed she had insatiable thirst a day after the surgery and they said they couldn’t help that we had to find a vet. We assumed it was coming off anesthesia and that she would be fine in a couple days. He got home with her Wed evening and we took her to a local vet Thursday (Christmas Eve) first thing in the morning. They did a urinalysis, blood work, heartworm test, X-rays, ultrasound and a few hours of IV fluids since she was dehydrated. The vet was unable to find any abnormalities in the testing.

He sent her home with antibiotics, prednisone and an appetite stimulant since she had stopped eating. This one visit was $1050 and we have no answers. She seems to be incontinent and urinates every 15-40 minutes. She tries to drink her own urine even though we provide her with an average of a gallon of water as well as bone broth every day. We take her outside every 1-2 hours and she goes 4-5 times then comes inside and goes again within half hour. We have to do more tests and find out what’s going on.

We are told from our vet that heartworm treatment starts at a bare minimum of $1500 and goes up to $5,000. This was a shock as we though this was simply an injection and affordable. We have lost a few thousand dollars by canceling a load we were scheduled to transport to stay in Houston to get her. We still don’t have any answers on what is making her sick and so much more will need to be done. The heartworm treatment will not be done until she is healthy and strong as it is an aggressive and painful treatment. Unfortunately she has shown aggression towards our pitbull puppy who is in heat and is a lot of energy and too much for some dogs, especially those who have had a hard go and need time and space. This may be due to stress and illness, so hopefully this changes. She has not shown aggression towards our 9 year old Malinois or any dogs she sees when walking. With the issues w her and my puppy we will not be able to keep her but I will not dump her at a shelter. She is the sweetest cuddle lover and would make an incredible companion for the right person. I am considering myself a foster although I’m not working with any shelter or rescue. I want to get her well and into the perfect forever home. I’m asking for some assistance from some fellow pittie advocates to help me with her medical expenses as we don’t have the means. We will have to continue running all kinds of tests until we get to the route cause of her issues. Each test seems to cost $200-$300. From there when we find the cause she will need a treatment plan and more medication then she will need to begin heartworm treatment. We are glad we saved her from almost certain death and from being stuck in a scary shelter, however we do not have the savings or disposable income for her medical care. Since we just got her there was not time to shop for insurance and these would all be considered existing conditions and would not be covered. I also have to prioritize my two dogs and their care and well being. I’m having a hard time even getting rescues or other organizations to call me back. I am asking for financial assistance for her medical expenses, as well as looking for potential adopters. If there are any left over funds from this request that are not needed for her medical expenses, we will donate them to help other pups. Thank you in advance for your big hearts, compassion and generosity. UPDATE: 12/29 She is finally starting to eat a bit with the help of an appetite stimulant which is great because she’s gained back a couple of the many pounds she’s lost. It seems the antibiotics are helping slightly. He insatiable thirst is still present. Vet tested urine again and confirmed he thinks she has diabetes insipidus. However before trying hormones to treat that, he did further tests to try to find the cause of it. We should hear back in a couple days. If this isn’t the answer we need we will go on to do another ultrasound and further testing. Then we will look at testing for cushings and addisons. We need to get her well quick so we can treat the heartworm which is only growing. Please keep this precious soul in your prayers


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Andrea Lambert 
Salt Lake City, UT
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